Syria says Turkey sending terrorists to wage war

BEIRUT Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:13pm EDT

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria accused Turkey on Thursday of playing a "fundamental role" in supporting terrorism by opening its airport and border to al Qaeda and other jihadists to carry out attacks inside Syria.

Once close allies, the two countries' relationship quickly deteriorated as President Bashar al-Assad intensified a crackdown in a 17-month-old uprising against his rule.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on Assad to leave and Ankara has set up a sprawling refugee camp along the border which houses thousands of Syrian refugees.

Several military officers have defected to Turkey and the nominal commander of the Free Syrian Army, a loosely coordinated group of insurgents fighting Assad's forces, is also based there.

"The Turkish government plays a fundamental role in supporting terrorism by opening its airport and borders to host al Qaeda elements, jihadists and salafists," Syria's foreign ministry said in a statement circulated on state television.

"The Turkish government has set up on its soil military offices where Israeli, American, Qatari and Saudi intelligence agencies direct the terrorists in their war on the Syrian people," the statement said.

Damascus also accused France and the United States of sending rebels communications equipment. U.S. sources have said President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Assad.

Gulf sources told Reuters that Turkey had set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria's rebels from the city of Adana near the border.

The statement said Turkey had used the camps as "military bases" for terrorists who then headed to Syria to commit crimes.

A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said: "It is not the first unsupported claim coming from Syria. These speculative claims are not reflecting the truth."

(Reporting by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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Comments (2)
moetheshmo wrote:
Installing Sharia law throughout the Greater Middle-East will bring peace to the region. Its only structures will be religious councils appointed by the people; their job would be the strict enforcement of Sharia law. The newly formed Islamic nations must be headless even if it would result in anarchy. Allah`s leadership must be searched for but only found in prayer.

Aug 02, 2012 4:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
spirittoo wrote:
Syria is right about Turkey … along with the fascist us and israel sending in terrorist to destabilize the country.

Aug 02, 2012 10:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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